PORTLAND — Applications for absentee ballots for the May 10 referendum on the proposed school budget for fiscal 2012 are now available, the School Department announced in a press release.

Applications may be obtained from the city clerk’s office at City Hall, or may be downloaded under the elections and voter registration link on the city clerk’s website.

Applications should be mailed or faxed (874-8612) to the clerk’s office.

The School Board has proposed an $89.6 million budget for next year, although the spending plan will not be finalized until the City Council votes on May 2.

Absentee ballots may be returned between May 3 and 10 at 8 p.m., and residents may vote early within that period during normal City Hall business hours.

The clerk’s office will also be open on Saturday, May 7, from 8 a.m. to noon for early voting.

All polling locations will be open for voting on Tuesday, May 10, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Contact the city clerk at 874-8677 with any voting-related questions.

School budget information is available on the Portland schools website, www.portlandschools.org.

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